Your Indicator is too Big

December 5, 2017


Anyone who thinks indicators are just for indicating is missing the point. And yes, it’s a bobber.

Hatch Magazine published my article, “Your Indicator is too big.” It’s about the importance of balancing the size of the suspender with the weight underneath.

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. . . When we add a strike indicator to the leader, we transfer control of the nymph’s downstream path to the indicator itself. The bobber (sorry, but that’s what it is) now does the work of leading the nymph through the drift and determining the maximum depth of the flies. By adding an indicator, we also transfer the sensitivity — the strike detection — over to the bobber. And if the indicator is sized properly — if it is balanced with the weight suspended underneath — it’s exceptionally sensitive.

. . . The trout that inhales the nymph and turns back upstream will always move the indicator. Such aggressive takes move even a poorly balanced rig. But most trout don’t feed that way. Our trout are fickle creatures. They often slide left a few inches and mouth a nymph as it passes, feeling it for a moment like an old man testing hot soup with his tongue. They might release the nymph without us ever detecting a strike.

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Read the full article at Hatch Magazine.

As a follow up, and for a good explanation about what you can really do with an indicator/suspender, check out this Troutbitten article:

READ: Troutbitten | Tight Line Nymphing with an Indicator — A Mono Rig Variant

Enjoy the day
Domenick Swentosky

Nymphing Tips

Read all Troutbitten Nymphing Tips
  1. Reply


    December 6, 2017

    With older weakening eyes, I to prefer to call my bobber (I like the orange styrofoam footballs) a “visual aid”. I recall reading in your past blogs that you used a colored section on your mono rig so you could follow your line. Is that a bobber line? btw..all of your blogs are excellent.

    • Reply


      December 9, 2017

      That’s funny! Bobber line……..

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Domenick Swentosky

Hi. I'm a father of two young boys, a husband, writer, musician and fisherman. I fly fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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